I first attempted this back in college in 2011. I have tried every year except for one, I think (probably 2015 because Miles and I had just gotten married) and I have only “won” one time. You don’t really win anything. You win bragging rights and a huge feeling of accomplishment. And then you’re left with a story that you have to actually edit and revise and rework and rewrite.
The story I won with was Utangard (previously mentioned in Lit Tuesday: Works in Progress). I got my 50,000 words in for it and realized it was going to be a whole lot longer than I thought.
When you do NaNoWriMo, you’re really supposed to start with a new story every year. I’m not doing that, though. I’m aiming to finish Utangard. My friend over at The Nifty Notebook (our Fearless Leader for my writing group/book club) had the idea to, rather than emphasize starting anything new, use NaNoWriMo to motivate us to develop new habits or finalize goals we’ve had our eyes on for a while. At the heart of it, NaNoWriMo is about proving to yourself that you really do have time to write every day. You just need to have the drive to do so.
So, I’m aiming to finish Utangard. I may not reach 50,000 words to finish it, but I want to finish it. Then I can start thinking about the next one in the series while I edit and revise Utangard, along with my post-apocalyptic fantasty story (which I did actually finish, if you can believe it–I need to get it through the first phase of revision by getting it on the computer).
After that? Who knows? I need to focus on these two for the moment. I’m easily distracted when it comes to research, so I can’t allow myself to work on too many things at one time.
(Featured image comes straight from the NaNoWriMo website.)